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Japanese Tea Ceremony
Different communities have their different cultural practices through which they pass the society's important information to other generations as well as to teach their younger generations about their values. The Japanese tea ceremony is one of such ceremonies which are held with much importance in the Japanese culture. The Japanese believe that each occasion in life is entirely different in its own right and can never be replicated.
The Japanese tea ceremony is held with much respect and the host always takes special precaution to ensure that each part of the ceremony goes as planned. This is one ceremony that is organized with book like precision observing all the set rules and regulations of the culture. It is important to understand that the ceremony usually held in a special setting and among some of the most crucial steps that cannot be ignored are the presence of host's assistant who is also known traditionally as the hanto and the special room where the host's assistant waits for the guests which is also referred to as the Machiai.
The guests at a Japanese tea ceremony always come in groups of fours. While at the waiting room, the guests select on among them who will play the role of the chief guest before the hanto leads them to the roji or dew ground. It is also important to note that each tea ceremony has a theme which is determined by the host. The host decides the theme of the tea ceremony long before inviting his guests after which he hangs an alcove known as the tokonoma from where the theme of the meeting will be displayed for the guests to see.
The ceremony can be held during the day or at night, there are differences between the daytime and night time ceremony in the way the guests are summoned to the tea garden either by the use of a gong for daytime ceremony or the sound of bells from five to seven times if it is held in the evenings. Several items are used in the ceremony with each of the items having a symbolic meaning in the Japanese culture.
Among the items present at the ceremony with symbolic meanings are the tea bowl also traditionally known as the chawan which symbolizes the moon and the water jar representing the sun? Other items present in the ceremony include the tea whisk, the tea cloth, the waste water bowl and the bamboo water ladle and lastly a green bamboo rest which acts as the kettle lid